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Research Groningen Institute of Archaeology Research GIA Laboratories and collections Laboratory for Conservation & Material Studies


Laboratory for Conservation & Material Studies


The Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA) has a laboratory for the conservation and examination of objects and materials from excavations. This Laboratory for Conservation & Material Studies (LCM) participates in scientific research executed by  the GIA. In addition it receives assignments from institutions, companies and individuals.

Most of the finds from excavations are made of either metal, ceramics, organics or stone. For this reason the Laboratory has expertise on the material categories mentioned above.

The Laboratory is lead by Dr. Albert Nijboer and staffed by Drs. Gert van Oortmerssen. Dr. Nijboer took a BSc degree in conservation and material sciences at the Institute of Archaeology (University of London).

Some projects of the LCM:
  • conservation and analysis of iron artefacts from Smeerenburg, a Dutch 17th century whaling station at Spitsbergen, Norway
  • conservation of a collection of clay tablets from the Department of Near Eastern Studies (TCMO) of the Groningen University
  • research on the gold disc-on-bow brooch from Wijnaldum (Frisia, The Netherlands)
  • conservation of iron and non-iron artefacts from the excavation at Wijnaldum (Frisia, The Netherlands), amongst others a 7th century matrix for preparing gold foil inlays
  • conservation of early-16th century stone sculptures from the Zuidbroek church in the province of Groningen
  • restoration of Mediaeval ceramics from the excavation at Stavoren (Frisia, The Netherlands)
  • fabric analysis on ceramics from the province of Latium, Italy
  • desalination and conservation of a late Roman tombstone from Egypt

The LCM can carry out conservation work or analyses in commission. For example:

  • Conservation and restoration of:
  • metal artefacts: gold, silver, copper alloys, iron, zinc, lead, tin
  • glass en ceramics: terracotta, stoneware, porcelain
  • stone-artefacts
  • organic materials like bone, leather, wood (with exception of freeze drying)
  • fabric analysis on ceramics: investigation of the composition and additions to clays used for the preparation of ceramics: preparation and analysis of thin sections of ceramics/stones
  • metallographic analysis of metals: investigation of alloys and manufacturing techniques of metals
Last modified:23 July 2018 1.29 p.m.
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